Hiking is a great outdoor activity that everyone can do for both adventure and health. Nature offers the unexpected. One of the tools that a hiker must carry with him is the hiking knife. Knives can be helpful as defensive weapons, survival tools, or utility tools. It is important to have an easy-to-use, sturdy, durable, and compact knife for hiking. But it can be challenging to decide which knife is the best companion where you are hiking.
This is where we can help you. This is our take on what you should know before buying your very first hiking knife.
Should you buy a Fixed Blade Knife or a Folding Knife?
It is obvious that fixed blades are better than folding blades. They are more resilient than folding blades because they don't contain moving parts. Because there is no friction wear and tear, they are more durable. They are a breeze to use and are easy to access in emergency situations. They have no movable parts so accidents are unlikely.
Folding knives have a higher chance of a being damaged by lateral forces. If they aren't handled properly, they can be difficult and can cause injuries. However, they are more portable and compact. They don't need a case. Multi-purpose folding knives are possible with many knife models. Additional tools may be included with your knife. While fixed knives may be better for survival situations, tactical knives are more compact and easy to use.
What are the best materials for the blade?
The material for making the blade is another important consideration when selecting a hiking knife. For all activities such as hunting and chopping, high-quality materials are essential. It should not lose its sharpness if it is exposed to humid conditions.
A blade made from low-cost, ordinary steel will not work. Sharpening it may be easy, but it can also be broken easily. Additionally, it can become blunt right away and that makes it very ineffective for a variety of uses.
Stainless steel is the most commonly-used material for the blades. The steel's high chromium composition gives it strength and resistance to corrosion. It also has long-lasting durability. Another option is titanium. It is extremely strong, resists rust, and is hard. Among the most popular blade materials is the S30V. Vanadium and stainless steel were combined to create this material.
The edge should be sharp and easy to maintain and sharpen. The blade material must be durable to prevent the edges from slipping during use.
Blade edges can be serrated, plain, or a combination of both.
Plain or Flat Edge: This flat edge is easy to maintain, sharpen and use. This edge has more functions than other types because it has a continuous edge. This can be used to make precise push cuts, for example, in cheese, skinning and cutting meats, or for cutting cords. This knife is used most frequently for hiking and hunting. Knives with flat edges are not as sharp as serrated knives. A flat-edged knife can be more difficult than a serrated one to cut through tough items such as ropes or firewood. These types of activities are rare on hikes, so plain knives are the best options.
The handle has serration to provide a firm grip and the blade curves at the tip. Combinations are the best choice when you don't know what to do. Combinations combine the advantages of straight-edged knives' smooth push cutting capabilities and rope-cutting abilities with the sawing capabilities of serrated knives.
Sharpening it can be difficult. While it may be possible to sharpen the plain parts, it is much more difficult to sharpen serrated ones. Both knives will lose length due to this.
Hikers love to mix the benefits of both types of edges. Both can be used in many ways. It is, therefore, doubly-efficient. However, This combination has its downsides.
The Tip and Shape of the Blade
Your blade's shape and tip may be affected by how you use it. No matter the shape of your blade, the tip should be razor-sharp. Without a sharpened knife, it is very difficult to survive in the wild. Sharp edges are necessary for all activities, including digging up dirt, skinning your game, and cooking it.
What are the most popular blade shapes?
Because you will be hiking with your knife, your knife's handle is very important. Bad knives can lead to injury and even fatalities. The most commonly-used handle materials are the best for hiking knives.
Wood: Although wood is strong and looks beautiful, and takes you back to the past, they are vulnerable to moisture damage.
Bones: This unique ancient material offers a strong and secure grip and is visually stunning.
Plastic: Because of its natural grip, it is highly popular for hiking knives. It can also be used in an alloy with stainless steel and plastic.
Glass-Reinforced Nylon: It is a durable, low-cost material that can be molded and can come in a variety of textures. It is resistant to extreme conditions and requires little maintenance.
Even when hiking short distances, it is important to consider the knife's weight. The recommended weight range is between 23 and 660 grams, with a minimum weight of 23 g. A knife weighing 2 ounces or less is sufficient if you aren't planning on performing heavy-duty tasks like a wood collection. Heavy knives made the small tasks difficult to do. You will feel more at ease hiking if you have a light knife.
Your knife's carrying and handling will be affected by the sheath. Different sheaths can be attached to different parts. A strap must be able to cross over your knife handle to stop the knife from slipping. You can attach the sheath to your leg or belt using the low attachment. Some sheaths may include a belt loop. Some knives, like the folding knife, don't need a sheath.
A majority of the warranties are lifetime and require only proof of ownership or an original certificate. If your knife does not work properly, please notify the company. It is crucial to keep your knife clean and inside its case when not being used.
Final Thoughts Before Buying
With their unique features and high quality, these knives are growing in popularity. A knife is essential to protect yourself and your family while you are hiking and enjoying nature. When you are choosing a knife, consider the following: blade and handle materials, edges, weight, and shape. The knife that fulfills all of your needs will make you a satisfied owner.